List of First Ministers of Scotland

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Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister

The First Minister of Scotland is the political leader of Scotland, and head of the Scottish Government. The First Minister chairs the Scottish Cabinet and is primarily responsible for the formulation, development and presentation of Scottish government policy. The First Minister is a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), and is nominated by the Scottish Parliament before being officially appointed by the monarch. Following a referendum in 1997, a Scottish Parliament and devolved Scottish Government were established, to give Scotland some measure of self governance in its domestic affairs. This devolution resulted in administrative and legislative changes to the way Scotland was governed, and resulted in the establishment of a post of First Minister to be head of the devolved Scottish Government. Following the first Scottish Parliamentary elections on 6 May 1999, Scottish Labour Party leader Donald Dewar was nominated as First Minister, and was officially appointed by the Queen on 17 May at a ceremony in the Palace of Holyroodhouse.[1]

Currently, the First Minister of Scotland is Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party (SNP), who succeeded Alex Salmond in November 2014 following his announcement that he would resign the premiership in the wake of the defeat of the Yes Scotland campaign in the Scottish independence referendum, 2014. Sturgeon leads the fourth government of the Scottish Parliament which was elected by the people of Scotland firstly in 2007 as a minority government,[2][3] and re-elected in 2011, where they formed the first majority government in the Scottish Parliament.[4][5]

The longest-serving First Minister is Alex Salmond, who surpassed Jack McConnell on 7 November 2012 and spent a total of 7 years in the role.[6]

Chronological list of First Ministers[edit]

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Constituency
Term of office Political party
of FM
Elected Government Deputy First Minister
1 Donald Dewar.jpg Donald Dewar
(1937–2000)†
MSP for Glasgow Anniesland
17 May
1999
11 October
2000
1 year, 147 days Labour 1999 Dewar
LabLD
Jim Wallace
(Liberal Democrat)
Jim Wallace.jpg Jim Wallace (acting) 11—26 October 2000 Liberal Democrats
2 Henry Mcleish.jpg Henry McLeish
(1948–)
MSP for Central Fife
26 October
2000
8 November
2001
1 year, 13 days Labour McLeish
LabLD
Jim Wallace.jpg Jim Wallace (acting) 8—22 November 2001 Liberal Democrats
3 Jack McConnell.jpg Jack McConnell
(1960–)
MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw
22 November
2001
16 May
2007
5 years, 171 days Labour 1st McConnell
LabLD
Jim Wallace
2001–2005 (LD)
Nicol Stephen
2005–2007 (LD)
2003 2nd McConnell
LabLD
4 AlexSalmondMSPS20111219.jpg Alex Salmond
(1954–)
MSP for Gordon until 2011
MSP for Aberdeenshire East from 2011
16 May
2007
19 November
2014
7 years, 187 days Scottish National Party 2007 1st Salmond
SNP (minority)
Nicola Sturgeon
(SNP)
2011 2nd Salmond
SNP
5 Deputy Secretary, John King with First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon (cropped).jpg Nicola Sturgeon
(1970–)
MSP for Glasgow Southside
20 November
2014
Incumbent 2 years, 220 days 1st Sturgeon
SNP
John Swinney
(SNP)
2016 2nd Sturgeon
SNP (minority)

Died in office.

Timeline[edit]

Nicola Sturgeon Alex Salmond Jack McConnell Jim Wallace Henry McLeish Jim Wallace Donald Dewar


References[edit]

  1. ^ "UK Politics- Dewar appointed as first minister", BBC News, 17 May 1999
  2. ^ Wintour, Patrick (4 May 2007). "SNP wins historic victory". The Guardian. London. 
  3. ^ "Scottish elections 2007". The Guardian. London. 15 January 2008. 
  4. ^ Carrell, Severin (6 May 2011). "Stunning SNP election victory throws spotlight on Scottish independence". The Guardian. London. 
  5. ^ "Scottish election: SNP wins election". BBC News. 6 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Longest-serving first minister Salmond will not 'go on and on'". BBC News. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 

External links[edit]